How to Start a Blog & What to Do after Starting It

By Rutuja Bhagwat - March 13, 2016


I received many requests to write a post on creating a blog. I'm overwhelmed that people approach me for the creation of blog, domain names, and all of those things required for a blog. I take much pride in writing about this one because I have a lot of talking to do.

Here's a guide for How to start a blog and what to do after starting it –

PRIMARY LEVEL

1. Think of topics that fall under your interests
Think of what you want to blog about. Techno-geek? Start a tech blog. Love food, like innovating new dishes, trying out recipes, being a foodie, reviewing restaurants? Be a food blogger. Want to show your style to everybody? Be a fashion blogger. Better yet, got something to write on all the possible topics that exist in the world? Be a lifestyle blogger like me! There are various topics that you can write on. But before even thinking of starting a blog, you should start thinking about the topics.



2. Make a list of topics (should be more than 30)
Once you're sure of what interests you, write down all the topics in a notebook, or somewhere virtually like OneNote. Be sure to list down at least 30 unique topics from your interest. Go on adding more topics as and when you think. I recommend you to keep this list with you wherever you go, in the form of a notebook list or OneNote list, so that you can add the topics at any given time.

Once you're done adding unique topics, add topics relevant to those. For example, if I write a topic as 'What's in my bag?', I will also write related topics like 'What to pack for work?', 'What to pack for college?', 'What's in my summer bag?', 'What's in my carry-on?' etc.



3. Reflect. Will you be able to write consecutively for a few years? 
Before starting a blog, based on the number of topics and ideas you could come up with, know if you'll be able to sustain the blog for long. At least write regularly for a year, because this guide is honestly for those who are serious with blogging. Come up with different ideas and also write seasonal and spontaneous posts, which are, or are not, pre-decided. 


SECONDARY LEVEL

1. Choose a platform for your blog
I have tried three platforms/services--Blogger.com, Wordpress.com, and Tumblr.com. Each one has a different set of pros and cons. My blog is on Blogger and I love the user-friendliness of it. The only problem is the choice of themes: there aren't many, and also that it lies dead in a small corner of the web. However, on the other hand, WordPress and Tumblr are just like the social networking sites, but up to certain extent. WordPress has wonderful themes and you'll end up being confused while selecting one best theme. But, the interface is very difficult. I have used WordPress for some time and have not liked the interface at all. The publishing of posts, the customizing of theme is not as easy as at Blogger.com. Whereas, Tumblr is considered more of a social site than a blog service provider. Both, on Tumblr and WordPress, you can 'Like', 'Share', and 'Comment' on posts, just like on Facebook and Instagram. 

2. Think of a name and set it
Thinking of a name for your blog is a lengthy and a difficult process. You also have to think about its long-term validity. As in, if you're a college girl, you would like to keep the name as College Chic, College Diaries etc. However, when you'll turn 30, you will find it hard to create content that would match your blog's name. Therefore, while choosing a name, consider the future scope of it as well.



3. Think of the colour theme and set it 
Here, the theme means the colour scheme. Choose one and then play with the colours and fonts. See to it that the colours and fonts reflect your blog's name and the content you write. A theme is never built on the spot; it takes time to add different elements and work with what looks the best.


4. Publish your first post
Once you're set with the theme, publish your first post. You may want to design or add an image to go along with the post, which is known as the blog graphic. The superior quality of images will attract more visitors. The quality of your writing, layout, images etc. will improve over a period of time. Don't expect to create professional posts at one go; you'll improve gradually.

5. Add important gadgets
The addition of certain gadgets on blog is crucial. You can do it at this stage. My recommended gadgets are all the 'follow me' gadgets, search bar, archives, popular posts, and related posts.


6. Add navigational tabs
You should ideally add tabs and subdivide the blog content into categories to make it easier for your reader to navigate. The tabs on my blog include 'About Me', 'Travel', 'Lifestyle' etc. 

7. Select a publishing pattern (daily, weekly, biweekly etc.)
According to your availability, writing speed, and the volume of content, you can pick a publishing pattern for your readers. This also helps in pushing you to create content irrespective of your busy schedule. Take an example of being a fashion blogger. You might perhaps wish to share two outfits per week. Depending on your work/college schedule, you can make an agenda yourself. If you have holidays on Wednesdays, you can post every Wednesday. Just create a publishing pattern so that your readers know when to come to you. 

I used to follow a daily pattern for first three years of blogging, i.e., I used to write every day. (Now I post three to four times a month.) You don't necessarily have to tell people saying 'New Post Every Monday'; Just publish a post once a week. 




8. Select a niche
I purposely put this pointer so later in this process, that's because I don't want you to limit yourself with one niche only; that would just create some sort of a blockhead while you're making a list of topics/ideas. 

Once you've published at least 10 posts on your blog, you can then set a niche for yourself. You can select from various niches like lifestyle, fashion, travel, technology, automobile, personal, beauty, food, politics, literature, movies, photography, DIY and crafts etc.


9. Announce your blog and share it across your friends and family (after publishing a minimum of 20 posts)
The reason why you should keep your blog hidden from the world initially is because when you share the link with others, you wanna show how serious you are with your blog. Imagine opening a link and finding a couple of articles. Nobody is going to take you seriously and they'll just congratulate for the sake of it. 

If you're serious and want to generate your blog as a portfolio to greatly written articles, then wait until there's something your friends and family can browse through. I recommend writing 20 posts and then sharing the blog link. 


TERTIARY LEVEL

1. Social media promotion (only if you're sure of your blog's sustainability)
There are a million of blogs out there and a million of 'bloggers' with no blogs, only social media accounts. Nowadays, people expect quick results and before they can create content consecutively, they've already changed their Instagram profiles to 'Personal Blog'. Let me tell you, it's not that easy. You can get quick money by investing money into your Instagram followers and engagement groups, but if there's no solid blog to support your 'blogger' title, then you're only making a fool of yourself. 

Ideally, you should start promoting your blog posts and ideas on social media after you're a few months into regularly posting articles. You can then create new profiles for your blog and use it for promotion.

You can start with Facebook and Instagram at a primary level. Later, you can head to Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin' etc. See to it that you post regularly. 



2. Purchasing a domain name (if you're serious about this)
This one is a hell of technical activity. If you have blogged for over a year or are passionate and see your blog as your career, you can purchase a domain name and then link to your already existing blog. I purchased mine for Rs. 2,500 approx. from Godaddy.com for a period of five years. I purchased a domain name after completing one year of blogging. Be sure if you really want to put in that much money. Be very serious. Also, linking the domain name to your blog is a technical task. My dad and brother had done it for me, using tutorials on YouTube and other websites. If you can't do it on your own, hire a professional.



3. Printing business cards
This step is completely optional and not many do it as of today. But during the initial few years of blogging, sharing across my blog and putting forth the idea of what a blog is was highly needed at that time. People were not aware of what a blog is. So I had purchased my first set of business cards in Jan 2015, that is, after blogging for more than a year. I had ordered them online for quite cheap. 

While designing your business cards, don't forget to add the logo and the theme of your blog. Also, mention your social media profiles and the web address. Order cards only after purchasing a domain name, because the .blogspot.in or .wordpress.com do not look cool at all!


4. Maintaining your blog...get yourself a diary or a planner
Maintaining a blog is quite a nerve-wrecking task especially due to the kind of things you have to do to keep it going and earning money. For instance, as you go further in this, you get collaborations so you have to keep a check on the deadlines, the payments due, total income per month etc. You have emails to reply, emails to send, readers to engage, and build more following. If you have a planner or a diary with you, the management of a blog becomes a lot easier.





Keeping a check on social media promotion
Lastly, you want the world to know the recipe you just wrote on your blog or the fascinating pictures from your Bali trip. Imagine writing an article on your blog and nobody reads it. So ensuring you share each of your post on all the social media handles is important. 

Print the free blog promotion printable and make sure you check it off every time you post a new blog.


Continue reading:

P.S. This post was originally written in Mar 2016 and edited in April 2020. 

  • Share:

You Might Also Like

0 coment�rios